This is a very lengthy entry (like usual).
The first part, was written on November 3rd – before “craziness..”
The last part was written today, November 29th, post “craziness..”
and the latter relates the happenings, ins and outs of “craziness.”
Enjoy! You have been warned. -Aun Aqui
Do you want to live? Like.. survive?
You know,.. eat, drink, stay warm, cool off, bathe, and continue breathing?
Get a job, get paid, and buy food, water, AC, heat, and all the “bathing supplies.”
Would you like to.. be protected? You know, – your possessions, your body, your life?
Hey!.. yeah, that sounds like a good, smart idea.
Have your spouse get a job, a really GOOD job, and buy car insurance, health insurance, life insurance.. there are so many choices, so many options! The money you’re able to spend is without limit. 🙂
Would you like to find, happiness? To.. enjoy life?
Quit your job. Or.. realize –
that working, is a part of life – just as essential as all of the other duties we tend to.. caring for our bodies and our belongings– keeping things clean and orderly, devoting time to self-improvement, reflection, and time with God.
Working was instituted BY God FOR our sake — for our good and well being (Gen. 3:17-19, Proverbs 6:6+, Eccl. 4:5). God knew that in our sin-state, having lots of idle (or “free” time) would cause us to “get into trouble,” and so to keep us “in line,” he required that in order to live (aka, it’s not an option), we had to get off our butts, out of our comfort zone, and work up a sweat — deny ourselves, our inclination to procrastinate and to be negligent.
The only difference is that, today, for most of us, “work” doesn’t mean grabbing a rake, shovel or hoe and marching out into a field to labor.. and also doesn’t mean taking a handful of sticks and stones and building a “home.” For a lot of us, it means driving 70 MPH north or south, east or west on the interstate to walk into an office and fill out paperwork.. or to bike 5 blocks to pull into a gas-station parking lot to cash-handle and supervise purchases for 8 hours. For others of us, “work” means waking up at 2 in the morning and speeding to a hospital, wearing white scrubs and a pair of clean gloves, to perform surgery, to promote health, to save lives..
and for certain others of us, it means driving in our little, blue, 1990 Plymouth Neon and pulling into a Cracker Barrel parking lot to serve country ham, meatloaf, and BBQ platters all day long.
All I’m saying, is work, is inevitable. You will spend 1/3rd-1/2 of your adult life outside of your home (in most cases), working. (So) ENJOY what you do – find happiness and fulfillment IN it.. remember, that all work is honorable and respectable – that if you’re doing your best, the Lord is pleased and proud, and YOU should be also (Eccl. 9:10). And if you aren’t finding fulfillment, and there is opportunity for promotion or change, go for it. I say, hold on to what you have until something better comes along.. I mean, in reference to jobs. Definitely not people – or spouses.
Christopher Andrew Yarbrough..
is the BEST man in this whole world.
Best: (adjective) of the highest quality, excellence, or standing;
most advantageous, suitable, or desirable; morally excellent;
When I go shopping for clothes, he is standing beside me — not huffing and puffing, consulting his cell phone time piece, or referring to how “little we have in the bank account..” but enjoying time with me – doing his best (and he’s pretty good at it) to help me find “what I like,” sometimes walking forward to an aisle or clothing rack ahead of where I am, to see if he can pick out what I would select before I do. He’s always sweet, considerate, generous, and happy to be with me.. he does his best to enjoy the things I enjoy. That counts for a lot.****
Now, 11/29/2010. This is about, three weeks later.. I started the entry you just read but was never able to finish it. Chris and I have been going non-stop.. the round of work, laundary, groceries, paying bills, cleaning the house, moving IN to the house, buying everything we NEED for the house, finding time for God, and eachother..
it’s been amazing.
So, I begin.
On November 19th, we moved in. It was a Friday morning. Chris and I had been up late the night before, “tying up odds and ends,” packing up last-minute “stuff” and organizing the sealed boxes as best we could. The following morning our nerves woke us up before we really needed to be up. We began the work of taking boxes, big and small, into our arms and transporting them downstairs, so that when our help (Lefty, Pastor Karl and his son, Ben) arrived, it would help them out and take up less time. Chris and I eventually formed a system to where I would remove the box from the bedroom to the top of the stairs, and he would then carry it the rest of the way down.
The three men arrived and things began moving at a more rapid pace. The boxes in the hallway and living room disappeared.. I went upstairs and the bed frame was being carried from the room.. and then, I went upstairs again and all that remained were trashy remnants and dusty particles — I helped Chris’s mom sweep the room, thanked her once again for her hospitality and then,
We finally left..
we were gone –
FINALLY, gone.. out of their way, and out of the stuffy, cramped quarters.
I can’t describe the feeling. It was in such an “unreal,” “surreal,” and “mind-blowing” way that I even lived it. I remember driving, talking on the phone with my mom, smushed in between three other cars, the procession of us covering the ten minute victory run from Pelham to Hoover. We all pulled into the apartment complex “welcome center” and Christopher and I went in to sign the lease while the rest of our company waited out in their trucks. The papers (there were like, thirty) were signed, and the work of moving IN, started.
It all went very quickly. It’s amazing, how much more work gets done in less time when five people are laboring instead of two. God is good, for providing help for us. After the bed was put together and one more trip back to the house was made, Pastor Karl, Ben, and Lefty left (Lefty is Chris’s dad). We thanked them, and then turned ourselves to the task of unloading boxes.. but before UNLOADING them, I suggested that we localize all of them (aka, if the box contained bathroom items — towels, shampoo, rugs, or whatever, we move the box into the bathroom.. the same for every room).. and so we did, and it helped IMMENSELY (if not in actuality, atleast mentally, for me). We went out that day for a few necessities — bathroom towels (we only had two to begin with), a high-top table for our kitchen (we only had a bed, no couch, so we needed SOMETHING to eat on), and other minor necessities (later on in the week a toaster, hangers, staple food items). It was wonderful; falling asleep that night in a quiet room, snug and warm underneath a new, red comforter – resting on clean, black sheets.. waking up, Sabbath morning, in a quiet room, still snug and warm underneath that new, red comforter – resting on those clean, black sheets..
** and Today, is Monday. I’m working the 3-8:30; Chris went in at 7 for his 7-3 shift. It won’t be like this for long.
Because.. I got hired, last week, for the position of BANK TELLER at Eco Credit Union! Praise the Lord. It’s a promotion, a change, that I desperately, truly NEEDED. Serving has exhausted me. The experience was good, the money is great — but not worth the stress, the all-consuming nature of the work. Glad to be done with it (I’ll still be serving Sunday a.m. shifts, but that’s do-able.. it’s the five-six days a week, back to back, that I can no longer handle.) So yes! I will now be cash-handling and check depositing four days a week, part time, at Eco Credit Union. Happy day. Chris and I went mall-shopping a few days ago for “bank teller clothes” (pencil skirts, a pantsuit with matching button-up top, snobby professional blouses and brown/ black knee highs). And yes.. it was November 26th – BLACK FRIDAY. It was awesome! I loved how busy and alive the stores were. The deals were great. The atmosphere.. it was different — alittle shocking.
At one point, I was looking for brown boots. We had gone into.. Belk? Yes, Belk.. and there were women, everywhere. They were frantic. Shoe boxes, were lying open, uncased, on the floor. There would be on shoe in the box, and it’s match lying on the floor, or on a rack, racks away! It was madness. Chris couldn’t handle it for long (he was a real trooper for awhile; with a coveted boot in one hand, he searched diligently for the other).. eventually, we gave up.. especially when we realized the sale price of the matching boot we were both looking for was only seventy dollars (is that a deal?).
Anyways, aside from that (my recent job promotion), Chris is also being considered for a promotion. He applied at, and has been interviewed twice now, for the position of Graphic Designer at a well established and thriving company in Pelham. We’re hoping to hear something sometime this week.. the manager called last week and shared with Chris that it’s between him and one other applicant; that this other hopeful has experience in the field.. and yet, still, they are considering Christopher. That proves just how talented and capable he is, and, that people clearly recognize it. I’ll give an update when applicable..
It’s really been interesting – being out on “our own.” I remember, last week, standing in line at Dollar General – holding four packs of plastic hangers, a cheap can-opener, and some other small item — hoping that when our card was swiped and we put in our pin, we would be approved. We’ve had a scary-low balance in our bank account, and with all of these new expenses we’re dealing with (car insurance — yes, we were driving illegally awhile back –, rent, water, gas, electricity, and a phone bill) – it’s very, very intimidating (not to mention, all of the security deposits drained out funds. It was atleast 700 dollars for everything). I’m learning to budget.. we’re both learning to sacrifice — not only what we want, but, even what we need. There are certain things we just can’t do anymore.. like go out on dates (unless it’s for french fries at Purple Onion or to see a PG movie at the dollar theatre over on Lorna), and there are certain “necessities” we’ll just have to wait on (ie, a vacuum, broom, water purifier, table of some sort – “end,” “coffee,” – to put in the livingroom)..
but one thing we’re perfectly certain of and absolutely SURE of, is that God will provide what we really need, when we really need it — in His time, in His way. He hasn’t, in recent weeks, handed us money to spend on whatever we deemed “spendworthy;” that wasn’t His method.. instead, He has provided us with a free couch, free silverware (and dishes), a free crockpot, soap dispenser, and much more. God is good.. all the time – when we feel we’re lacking, and when we notice that we’re prospering.
So yes, life is beautiful. And yes.. life is fulfilling. And I know now, more than ever before, that I’m in the right place. Why? Because I’m not comfortable.. (but I’m also not restless). I’m not satisified.. (but neither am I wanting). I am healthfully alert, and cautiously moving forward — I am trusting in the Lord, and counting on His power..
believing in His love, His providence.. because He’s given me, and Christopher, every reason to.
On another note, I wrote a six-page letter to my “ex” best friend, Melissa. I hold nothing against her.. I have no angry feelings, no ill wishes.. I really, truly LOVE her (and, miss her). I wrote her, saying just that, and sharing what my life experience has been during the past 6 months.. how I’ve missed her company, her solicitude — how I’ve prayed for her, and wondered what life has been like for her. I’m hoping she’ll read it.. I’m hoping she’ll care. I’m praying her mom won’t throw the letter a way before she even sees it.. and I’m praying that God can somehow, someday, reconcile us.
But if He chooses not to, I’ll just know that it is what’s best for her.. and, somehow, best for me. And I’ll remain grateful, and thankful, for those 8 years we were able to spend and enjoy together. I learned a lot from Melissa.. more than I can even now realize. And I hope that in that short but impressionable space of time, she learned something, one good thing, from me, by the grace of God.
I’m still hoping that we’ll be able to go visit my family in January. Micah and Amy, the aunt and uncle, are supposedly going down there in the middle of the month. I just don’t know if it’ll work out.. number one, financially – and number two, with both of us requesting time off. I’ll just barely be done with training for this new job around mid-December.. and I’d need to put my notice in no later than the first week of January. That would be only two weeks after starting. I just don’t know if that’s respectable or not.. and as for Chris, we don’t even know if he has the job yet. I just wish the trip could be postponed til February or March, on everyone’s end, so that we could have a nice, relaxed reunion..
and I also wish that 500 dollars would just “appear” out of nowhere.
God knows the desire of my heart, and whether or not it’s plausible.. and if it isn’t, maybe, just maybe, he’ll make it be.
Also, I still want a German Shepherd! I’m hoping that Chris will have a change of heart (yep, he’s not very into the idea now of sharing me with anyone or anything) and that he’ll just SURPRISE me and bring home a little, male, 9 week old puppy sometime towards the end of this month (we don’t celebrate Christmas, so, it will be a “December 25th end of the year” gift). 🙂 I just want a puppy companion. When Chris isn’t home, I’m lonely, and alittle nervous. A dog would provide protection and friendship.. and, German Shepherds just make me think of my mom, who I miss dearly. Having one around would help fill the void.. just alittle.. until she and dad decide they’re moving back home.
On the note of religion.. I’m still teaching the earliteens class. I enjoy it; it’s always nice – going back, in your mind, to the “basics,” the “babysteps,” the “fundamentals” of religious belief — why we live the way we do, adopt the standards we have, and believe in and love the God we serve. Chris teaches the collegiate class practically every week, as our associate pastor is either always out of town or doesn’t show up in time to unlock the door.
We drove with Pastor Karl to the hospital in Vestavia last week to visit our church friend, John. He has been hospitalized in preparation for a brain surgery that is scheduled to take place tomorrow,.. Tuesday. His family was there and a multitude of fellow church members. We all prayed with him, spoke to him, offered encouraging words and, more than anything, our friendly company and support. I was asked to sing a song, so Chris had carried Charlie into the little hospital room for me. It was crowded, but I found a place to sit and, somehow, without crying, I was able to share the song.
I was very emotional during the stay — it was so difficult, seeing his family placed in such a vulnerable circumstance where they seem to have no control, no capability or power to make him okay, to bring him home, to have his presence with them. My heart was drawn out in tender sympathy, and I prayer fervently for God to heal him. What impressed me the most was that, after everyone had shed their tears and said their prayers, John spoke himself, silent up until this time.. he said, in a sobbing voice that quivered, but that spoke with a softness and a sincerity I could never emulate or describe,
“I don’t know why this is happening.. but I just hope that God gives me a few more years, so that I can help people.”
I want to be like John.
Before I close, I can’t not talk about THANKSGIVING. It was awesome. (It’s so weird, remembering that last Thanksgiving, I was in Connecticut with Melissa and her family.. change is so dramatic, so unaccountable for!) Pastor Karl and Mrs. Trudy invited us over, which surprised and delighted us. We had thought that we would be spending the holiday alone. We gladly accepted, and after a crappy day at work (which I won’t even bother to describe.. just let it be known that I wept, that no one cared, and that I’m never serving from 6 am – 4pm on Thanksgiving again.. and for those of you who “go out to eat” on holidays — just, don’t), we arrived for dinner around 5 o clock (Chris picked me up and drove me home first, so that I could shower and put on something alittle nicer than a gravy-splattered, chocolate brown apron). The dinner, was marvelous! Trudy has cooked a vegetarian roast, home-made cranberry sauce (my favorite part), creamy mashed potatoes and delicious, hearty cornbread dressing (probably Chris’s favorite). Besides the wonderful food, the fellowship was great. We all enjoyed spending time together and conversing with one another.. Pastor Karl teasing me and everyone laughing along with him (which I love).. and then afterwards, Trudy announced that we would be “playing a game.” The game introduced (and which had to be taught to me) was “Uno Hearts.” I understand now that it’s the blending of TWO games: Uno and.. Hearts. It was fun! We played about ten times and I think it was Pastor Karl who ended up winning.. I can’t remember.. but what I DO remember is that after we finished 10 rounds of dominoes, I came out on top (yes; I ACTUALLY won!)
It was a great night.. the most pleasant and memorable I’ve had for a long time. Pastor Karl and Trudy are like our parents.. but, more than that, our friends. I always feel so able to talk with Mrs. Trudy — to confide in her.. and I’m assure that she cares and is interested, isn’t at all judgmental or insincere.. and really.. Pastor Karl is the only pastor I’ve ever loved and felt accepted by. My beliefs aren’t exactly “mainstream,” as an Adventist, but he’s never rejected me because of it.. he’s always been very “middle of the road,” very loving, very patient, and sincerely kind. He’s the closest thing to a role model that I have in life – he and my dear grandfather. The thought of him (Pastor Karl) retiring is very saddening.. Chris and I both have talked about it and how when he does, we’ll be visiting him and Trudy every Sabbath (or atleast every month; we don’t want to drive them nuts.)
Anyways, that’s life, really! Busy, interesting, fast-paced, (healthfully) stressful,
beautiful, fulfilling, God-led, God-powered,
I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything in the world,
and my life circumstances and situation for anyone else’s.
I thank God,
for life, for Christopher,..
for all people,
and for beautiful music.